Captured militant Mohammad Amir Kasab has disclosed that the training programme of the 26/11 terrorists at Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) camps included sessions to make them familiar with the structure and operational capabilities of Indian security and intelligence agencies. The instructors told Kasab and nine others about the strengths and weaknesses of Indian forces. The men also learnt military tactics.
In his eight-page confession — a copy of which is available with HT — Kasab said the assault team was given lectures twice a day and shown videos of Indian troops engaged in operation.
The security experts who interviewed Kasab said it was a military training — a capability LeT could not have unless a specialised agency was involved. “Only the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has the ability and means to design such a programme, which dealt with all the aspects of an operation,” said a home ministry expert not willing to be identified. “The militants’ familiarisation with Indian forces, their style and tactics, and preparing them accordingly was not possible without the ISI.”
Kasab, who was recruited in Rawalpindi, said he first completed the Daura Sufa, a 21-day training, at Markaz-e-Tayyaba in Murdike. He was later selected for another three-week training, Daura Ama, at Manshera in Buttal village. There he was trained in handling Uzi guns, AK series rifles and Green-Os. Later they were moved to Chelabandi, where he learnt to handle rocket launchers, mortars, hand grenades from trainer Abu Mawiya.
After the training ended in September, one Zakirur Rehman selected 10 men for the strike scheduled on September 27. The men were divided into five teams. Kasab and Ismail Khan were Team One with the code name VTS — Victoria Terminus Station. With the help of Google Earth they were told to learn about the stretch they had been assigned. The men were to be sent on September 24 but Zakirur Rehman cancelled the operation at the last moment. “Chacha told a team member that the operation’s cover had been blown,” Kasab told an interrogator. “Later we were all told to be patient and that our time would come.”